Originally published in Interiors & Sources

08/29/2013

Nelson Cultural Center by HGA Architects and Engineers

By Adam Moore
Photography by Paul Crosby Photography

 
  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2013/0913/I_0913_Web_AS_Swed_1.jpg

    The Center’s glazing creates an inviting new entrance and atrium, in which two-story windows overlook the courtyard and the historic Turnblad Mansion View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2013/0913/I_0913_Web_AS_Swed_2.jpg

    Upstairs, the addition of Swedish-inspired design elements such as oak paneling, art glass and locally-created tile give the interior “a more intimate, domestic scale,” says E. Tim Carl. View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2013/0913/I_0913_Web_AS_Swed_3.jpg

    Upstairs, the addition of Swedish-inspired design elements such as oak paneling, art glass and locally-created tile give the interior “a more intimate, domestic scale,” says E. Tim Carl. View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2013/0913/I_0913_Web_AS_Swed_4.jpg

    The second floor event space features a sloped oak ceiling which takes its inspiration from the lobby of Stockholm’s City Hall, and resembles the upturned hull of a Viking ship. View larger

Headquartered in Minneapolis’ historic Phillips West neighborhood, the American Swedish Institute (ASI) watched for decades as the area around it transformed from one of the city’s most prestigious residential neighborhoods to one marked by economic inequality and an increasingly transient population. But while many organizations might have used that as an excuse to relocate, ASI saw it as an opportunity to put its community ideals into action.

The Institute’s new Nelson Cultural Center, designed by HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA), offers a stunning new destination for gatherings and brings a touch of modern design to a neighborhood in transition.

The sleek and angular building embodies traditional Swedish values of craft, community and connection to nature, with HGA going as far as inviting Swedish artists and architects to critique its design. “Drawing inspiration from Swedish architecture and landscapes, and working with Swedish designers has been a tremendous aspect of this project,” says E. Tim Carl, AIA, lead architect and vice president at HGA. “At the same time, we were excited to incorporate Swedish attitudes toward the environment and sustainable living into our design concepts to create a sense of place in the neighborhood.”

Architectural details convey themes from both Swedish and local culture, including porcelain tiles and leather handrail wraps created by local craftsmen, a large-format trompe-l’oeil textile commissioned for the lobby, and a nautical-themed wood ceiling inspired by the timber roof in Stockholm City Hall. White walls, oak tongue-and-groove paneling and large expanses of glass further capture Swedes’ romantic sensibility toward domestic life.

Sustainable additions like a vegetated roof and geothermal system make the building eligible for LEED Gold certification. Upon approval, it will become the first museum in Minnesota to reach that status—a powerful example of how design can act as a catalyst for community change.

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

 


 
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